A Brief update from the Chair of some key events and recent news from May.   

Dear JudoScotland Membership,

It’s been a busy month so far with a number of great events and new initiatives organised by JudoScotland and the wider judo community.

On 7th May I attended a Charity Katame No Kata Course at Cluarankwai Judo Club in Kilmarnock. The event was organised by Alex Reid and Paul Laverty who set out to raise money for the Ukraine Humanitarian appeal and I’m delighted to tell you that they raised almost £1,500. Great job guys! The event itself was well attended with over 20 coaches (including myself). Thanks go to Paul and Alex for their expertise and help in teaching us the moves. In my case, an old dog doing new tricks!

The following day we had the Grand Prix Event – the Clyde Open at Bellahouston Sports Centre. I attended the event with our new CEO, Judith McCleary, her first visit to a judo tournament. Judith was introduced to the competitors, their parents and families and we had the privilege of presenting some of the medals. A great day!

Another great day was had on 14th May at Ravenscraig and the inaugural Keizuko. This is a new style event, aimed at judoka aged 8-12, who are looking to move beyond the club environment. It’s designed to provide a positive and fun development experience with lots of opportunities to participate in different activities and start to compete and win prizes. Judith attended the event and commented how impressed she was at the positivity she experienced – and the abundance of friendly and smiley faces!

I was delighted to hear that our new CEO Judith joined a group squad training session in the Dojo at Ratho and was shown a few techniques from one of our athlete’s Josie Steele. Judith, whose main participation sport is curling, said she loved her introduction to the sport and I’m secretly hoping her primary sport will change to judo!

Following the changes to the JudoScotland Board in April, a decision was made to co-opt Mark Brien to the Board until the AGM later this year. As a previous board member, Mark will allow the JudoScotland Board to run as a full Board until nominations open.

On a slightly sadder note, it’s been announced by JudoScotland that Tam Brown, Area Director of Examiners, has retired from this position which he’s held for the last 12 years. Tam has held many positions in JudoScotland and we wish him all the best with whatever he decides to do next. A big thank you from me personally for all the help he’s given me over the years.  I’ve arranged to meet Tam over the summer – as you may know, he’s a keen fisherman and we’ll be fishing together, you never know, I might even get hooked!

And finally, we are delighted to say that we will be announcing our team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next week! Judo has been out of the games since Scotland’s historic medal haul of 2014 however Birmingham marks the start of Judo as a core sport. Following a tough qualification period, I am sure you will all join me in getting behind Team Scotland later this Summer. And if you haven’t already, I would encourage you to think about your club hosting judo taster sessions during/after the Games to get more people involved in our wonderful sport!

Kind regards,

Marc Preston

JudoScotland Chair